Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE
After two big days at the Winter Meetings, will the Red Sox slow down on Wednesday?
Monday gave us Mike Napoli, Tuesday Shane Victorino and the Jacoby Ellsbury trade hubbub. What does Wednesday have in store for us? Perhaps (mercifully?) not as much.
The Red Sox have been quick to act in trying to put together their 2013 team at the Winter Meetings, and while there's still work to be done, they may have hit their first major stumbling point in Jacoby Ellsbury. Because until a deal is worked out for the center fielder, or until the team knows they're not going to be trading him, it's hard to know exactly how to progress.
On the one hand, there are outfielders that the Sox would like to bring in to replace Ellsbury. Perhaps we're talking Nick Swisher or Josh Hamilton, or maybe we're just back to Cody Ross again. Regardless, making such a significant financial commitment would be awfully risky without knowing where Jacoby Ellsbury will be headed.
On the other hand, there's the starting pitching market. Anibal Sanchez remains the big name (assuming the Red Sox are out on Greinke, which has seemed to be the case since the beginning), but the Sox remain in on guys like Ryan Dempster and Brandon McCarthy as well.
Then there's shortstop, where it seems to be boiling down to Stephen Drew or bust. Given the Marco Scutaro situation, however, it's getting hard to imagine that the Sox are going to be too interested in jumping headfirst into that market.
If the Sox are going to make a noteworthy move today, it seems likely to be for a starting pitcher. Their rotation is such that it wouldn't be at all surprising to see them bring in two arms rather than one. Still, the major stumbling block is Jacoby Ellsbury. Is he going? Where is he going? What will he bring back? Will the rotation look different when the trade is complete?
Hopefully the Sox will manage to get things set in stone quickly enough, but one day is an awfully tall task for a name like Jacoby Ellsbury. If the markets on Hamilton, Swisher, et al. start moving towards a (reasonable) conclusion we might see the Red Sox pounce even if it weakens their position, but otherwise they'll likely put their foot on the brakes until at least this piece of business is settled.